Oct. 27, 2016
Live Results | C-USA Championship Central
By: Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
– The Rice men's and women's cross country teams will be vying for a league title this Saturday, Oct. 29 at the 2016 Conference USA Championships, which will be hosted by Charlotte.
The women will run a 5K race at 8 a.m. (CT) followed by the men's 8K trek at 9 a.m.
The Rice women will be looking to repeat as C-USA champions for the first time in school history after their 2015 triumph last year in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Owls have won three C-USA team titles (2015, 2007, 2005) and have finished in the top three in nine of the 11 seasons they've competed in the league.
Led by the reigning C-USA Coach of the Year Jim Bevan, the Owls enter Saturday's race ranked fifthin the latest USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings. Aside from the Owls, Middle Tennessee (11th-South), North Texas (11th-South Central), Charlotte (11th-South East), Southern Miss (12th-UTEP) and Southern Miss (12th-South) also rank in the top 15 in regional polls.
The Owls have one of their deepest teams in years, led by the trio of Abigail Cartwright, Katie Jensen and Cali Roper. Cartwright has twice been named the C-USA Athlete of the Week this season and has individual victories at the Rice Invitational and Rim Rock Classic. Cartwright has helped lead the Owls to two team victories.
Jensen has three, top-five finishes in 2016 and placed fourth overall at the Texas A&M Invite with a personal best time of 20:22 in the 6k. Roper has won consecutive C-USA individual titles and is a two-time C-USA Female Performer of the Meet.
The Rice men, who placed fourth last season, have placed in the top three at the C-USA Championships in eight of the last 11 seasons and will be vying for their first-ever C-USA team title on Saturday.
Marco will lead the way after finishing as the Owls top runner in all four races this season. The Phoenix, Ariz. native won the Houston Baptist Invitational and placed 16th overall at the Rim Rock Classic. As a team the Owls are ranked 13th in the latest USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings.
Five teams across C-USA are ranked in the Top-15 in the USTFCCCA Regional rankings, led by nationally ranked No. 21 UTEP (No. 5 in Mountain Region). No. 29 Middle Tennessee (2nd-South), Charlotte (10th-South East) and North Texas (11tth-South Central) also check in in the top 15 in their respective regions.